Dr. Dawn Weber, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will provide the welcome and opening remarks. She explains that the symposium follows the format of a professional conference with students presenting original research, reading original creative writing, and exhibiting their artwork. Weber said, "CAS undergraduate students continue to make original intellectual and creative contributions to their disciplines early in their careers. We are delighted to share with the public and campus community highlights of the outstanding work being conducted by our students in departments across the arts, humanities, natural science and social science disciplines."
According to Dr. Christopher Swanson, URCA Symposium Committee Chair, Ashland's 2020 URCA Symposium is being held a week earlier than the national celebration of Undergraduate Research Week by the Council on Undergraduate Research, of which Ashland University is an institutional member. Dr. Swanson adds, "Based on the positive response to alumni presentations in the past couple of years, this year will again offer research presentations by two arts and sciences alumni, Paul Dyczkowski and Dr. David Werner. Their presentations will be featured at the first Oral Session from 9 - 10:15 a.m."
Paul Dyczkowski (2013) was raised by an artist who is also a factory worker which guided him into seeing the art behind the machine, and into sensing a grander architecture and architect behind the daily rumblings of our lives. After studying English, Creative Writing, and philosophy at AU, art and especially reading and writing remain critical to both his day-to-day life and career. Now employed by a technology company that prides itself on problem-solving and for supplying makers, thinkers, and repairers with whatever type of hardware they need, poetry remains integral to who he is. Written and verbal communication is imperative where he works, and quickly identifying what type of problem is at hand and fixing it as smoothly as possible is of paramount importance. Having studied what may get hidden or lost in words helps his career, and also drives his personal life. In his presentation "Speak to the Rushing Water: I Am - Reflections in Poems," Paul will share a few poems that revolve around his thankfulness and awe in looking at this world that we can constantly change with all the tools at our disposal, tools both physical and otherwise.
Dr. David Werner (2001) graduated with a double major in biology and chemistry. Following graduation, he continued onto his graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine specializing in neuropharmacology, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He is currently a tenured associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at Binghamton University, State University of New York, where his lab focuses on intrinsic and extrinsic developmental factors related to substance use disorders, primarily alcohol. His presentation "The (Not So) Good, Bad, and Ugly: Adolescent Alcohol Exposure" will give an overview of our current state of understanding of adolescent alcohol use vulnerability, its relationship to alcohol use disorder later in life, and novel translationally relevant preclinical interventional conduits.